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GCC Summit underlines need for greater solidarity
December 9, 2017, 5:12 pm

Economic and social challenges, as well as ongoing conflicts and insecurity prevailing in the Middle-East, underscores the need for greater unity among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. The 38th GCC Summit that was held on 5 December ended with a call for solidarity and a commitment to further coordination and integration among the six-nation bloc.

In his speech at the concluding session His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said the GCC leaders exchanged points of view regarding various challenges facing the region while affirming the strength of "our Gulf entity and its ability to defy challenges."

The final communiqué announced at the end of the summit noted that the six member nations' leaders were committed to the GCC's goals and were convinced that the bloc serves their peoples' hopes and aspirations. The communiqué reiterated support for previous proposals that include transforming the bloc from a council to a union, to build a joint defense mechanism, and for further economic integration.

Other highlights that emerged following the summit were the GCC Supreme Council welcoming the generous initiative of Kuwait to host an international donor conference in 2018 to support the stability and reconstruction of liberated areas in Iraq from the so-called Daesh (Islamic State). The Supreme Council called for a positive international cooperation in this conference and to assert the importance of refugees' return to their homeland under the international organizations concerned in coordination with the Iraqi government.

On Syria, the Supreme Council also affirmed its firm positions on the Syrian crisis and the Geneva resolution, and Security Council resolution 2254 which provides the establishment of a Transitional Authority for the administration of the country, the drafting of a new constitution for Syria and the preparation of elections for a new future for the Syrian people.

The Kuwait Declaration that was released at the end of the Summit called on media representatives and intellectuals in the Gulf to shoulder their responsibility and play a constructive role in supporting and reinforcing the joint GCC action in the best interests of the Gulf nations and peoples.

Reading out the Declaration at the session’s conclusion, GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif Al Zayani said it was imperative for GCC states to unite and combine their efforts to face the challenges that threaten the region’s security and stability.

The Declaration noted that since its establishment in 1981 the GCC has made great strides towards achieving its goals and that it would continue to press ahead with its efforts to boost joint action through programs and projects, as well as through greater integration in the economic, socio-political, security and military fields.

GCC leaders also reiterated the pivotal role of the organization in safeguarding the region’s stability and security and fighting terrorism and radical ideologies while remaining committed to defending Arab values and Islamic principles of moderation and tolerance to all.

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